NORFOLK, Va. -- Prior to their Class 5 State Semifinal against the defending State Champs from Maury, Highland Springs defensive lineman and Oklahoma commit Kelvin Gilliam Jr. said, “It’s a spoiler, not a prediction!” Those words became true as they shut out the Commodores 13-0 to reach their fifth State Title game in the last six years.
“I’m happy man,” Highland Springs Head Coach Loren Johnson said after the win. “I’m excited for the kids. Bouncing back and going through everything that we went through with the pandemic. Not knowing if we were going to play, all of those things, I’m excited all of that for our kids.”
“I told ya’ll at the beginning of the year, every camera in my face right here and I told ya’ll, we not losing a game,” Springers cornerback and Oklahoma commit Damond Harmon stated. “We got one more game to go.”
The Springers held Maury to under 200 yards of total offense and recorded their fifth shutout of the season, and second straight in the playoffs.
“I don’t have to talk about Devon Simmons,” Coach Johnson expressed. “Coach Simmons the best man. The defensive coaching staff is really, really good. And he just do a great job of preparing and putting the kids in position and coaching the kids and protecting and loving on the kids.”
The win improved Highland Springs to 10-0 against schools from the 757 region since the start of the 2015. It also gives the Springers a chance to host the Class 5 State Title game at Varina on Saturday against Stone Bridge. The same school that has lost three times to Highland Springs in a State Final.
“It’s in the 804 and it’s on the East End on Henrico County,” Coach Johnson said. “That’s going to be a unique situation in itself because you can actually sleep in your own bed this time so that’s going to be very unique for each and every individual in our program. And I think over time, we’ll come back and remember this.”
Highland Springs will look to complete their second undefeated season in three years while Stone Bridge is going for their first unbeaten campaign in school history.